- By Zayar (MRTV)
Myanmar is being hosted the 19th meeting of the ASEAN Sub-Committee of Information (SCI) which commences from March 5 to 8, and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are attending the meeting.
The SCI meeting aims at reviewing the resolutions related to the information sector in ASEAN summits and other meetings, presenting new project proposals for the next fiscal year, negotiating for the ASEAN Cultural Fund, making financial rules and selecting a host country for the next meeting.
Cooperation with three main pillars
As for Ministry for Information, the preparatory work is being carried out actively in order to disseminate the information and news of ASEAN Political-Security Community-APSC, ASEAN Economic Community_AEC, ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community_ASCC and Sub-Committee on Information_SCI to the public.
ASEAN Committee for Culture and Information (ASEAN COCI)
The ASEAN Committee for Culture and Information (ASEAN COCI) was set up in October 1978 with the aim of promoting effective cooperation in the fields of culture and information for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding and solidarity among the peoples of ASEAN. Moreover, various projects and activities, ranging from an ASEAN Youth Camp to news exchanges among ASEAN media, are conducted each year.
There also are workshops and other activities to nurture talent and promote interaction among ASEAN scholars, writers, artists and journalists.
Activities in the area of culture include the protection, conservation and preservation of cultural heritage, cultural promotion and the production of cultural showcases.
More recently, ASEAN cultural officials have been working on issues such as human resource development in the culture sector and small and medium-sized cultural industries. Activities in the information sector involves implementing communications projects aimed at raising ASEAN awareness and to generate a positive perception of ASEAN.
The ASEAN-COCI has two sub-committees, one dealing with culture and the other with information. These sub-committees plan, implement and monitor projects approved and funded by the ASEAN-COCI.
At the same time, there is in each ASEAN Member State an ASEAN National COCI that oversees the coordination and implementation of ASEAN-COCI projects and activities. The ASEAN National COCI comprises representatives from the foreign ministries and ministries of culture and information, national radio and television networks, heritage boards, museums, archives and libraries.
The COCI has ushered in the new phase in radio and television cooperation through such projects as the ASEAN Television News: Informs, Integrates and Inspires and the Voice of ASEAN: Beyond Boundaries to further strengthen ASEAN awareness through the sharing of media resources.
The COCI supports for the dissemination of public service announcements for the launching of the ASEAN Community and encourages the ASEAN Member States’ broadcasting companies to use these multimedia materials, both via traditional and new media throughout the region.
With the aims of involving the youths, the COCI will launch many programmes for young bloggers and the ASEAN Virtual Learning Resource Centre website which can engage the youths in heritage conservation and culture.
Besides this programme, the COCI will push for collaboration with non-government cultural organisations to implement the process successfully.
The following are SCI meetings which held in the previous five years.
(1)14th SCI, Brunei, 2013
(2)15th SCI, Cambodia, 2014
(3)16th SCI, Indonesia, 2015
(4)17th SCI, Laos, 2016
(5)18th SCI, Malaysia, 2017
(6)19th SCI, Myanmar, 2018
The ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media
ASEAN’s information and media sector has affirmed its commitment to continue its efforts, to raise ASEAN awareness, to support other community pillars and sectors with their communication needs through the adoption of the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media. The Strategic Plan will advance cooperation in promoting access to information about ASEAN, promote a sense of regional identity and community, harness the use of information and communication technologies to reach wider audiences, and develop ASEAN-relevant multi-media content.
The key strategies of the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media include;
1. Advancing cooperation and ASEAN-level agreements to provide regional mechanisms to promote access to information;
2. Encouraging the development of programs and dissemination of information on the benefits and opportunities offered by the ASEAN community and promote mutual respect, appreciation of diversity and a sense of belonging in this integrated region;
3. Harnessing the use of information and communication technologies across different groups as a means to connect with the regional and global community; and
4. Engaging media professionals, research, business and other entities in collaborative development of ASEAN-relevant content.
Using different types of Media
The information sector continues to promote ASEAN awareness and communicating to the people on the benefits and opportunities of regional integration and ASEAN community building process, through the use of different types of media including traditional, mainstream and new media.
The ASEAN information and media sector is continuing with its efforts to strengthening engagement with the private sector and other non-government media organisations through the Government-to-Business Dialogue and the ASEAN Information and Media Dialogue.
COCI Contribution to ASEAN Strategic Area considerable economic sector in its own right. It has the potential to be a significant domestic sector and contribute to exports through the development of new cultural product and through tourism. COCI projects can directly contribute to economic growth by fostering a strong cultural sector.
COCI Long Term Goal
Monitor the economic contribution of the cultural industry by incorporating cultural industry measures into the existing micro-economic monitoring mechanisms. Once the cultural industry is recognized as a significant economic sector, microeconomic policy can contribute to its management.
COCI Contribution to ASEAN Strategic Area
Cultural uniqueness is a major driver of tourism. The diversity of cultures across ASEAN can support a strong internal and external tourism industry which can improve the mechanism for engaging with the media and promoting the importance of ASEAN’s cultural heritage and the work of COCI. The protection and utilization of ASEAN’s cultural heritage will only occur if there is widespread awareness of the importance of this heritage, the opportunities that exist for the economic and social benefit this heritage can provide and the threats to this heritage from unsustainable exploitation. The work of COCI, in focusing on sustainability, is a key message which should be widely disseminated.
Win Ko Ko Aung